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Pakistan’s SBP foreign exchange holdings reached USD 4.34 billion, giving Islamabad three weeks’ worth of import coverage.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported on Thursday that the country’s foreign exchange reserves had risen to $4.34 billion in the week ending December 6, as the country has been receiving inflows both from the International Monetary Fund and other sources.

The figures showed that the central bank’s foreign exchange reserves had increased by $24 million to $4.34 billion during the week. The reserves had stood at $4.32 billion in the previous week.

According to the report, the SBP’s reserves included $3.82 billion in foreign currency assets and $514 million in gold. The report also showed that the country had three weeks of import cover in terms of the foreign exchange reserves.

The country’s foreign exchange reserves had hit a record high of $16.17 billion in October last year, but have since declined due to a sharp fall in remittances and the government’s repayments to foreign lenders.

The government has been relying on the IMF to help shore up its foreign exchange reserves. In July this year, the IMF approved a $1.387 billion loan to Pakistan to help it tackle the economic challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The loan was part of a larger $6 billion package, which also included loans from the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and other bilateral lenders.